Spotlight

Justin Smilllie appeared on CBS This Morning and shared some recipes: Peppercorn crusted short rib, Old world polenta, Slow roasted carrot with salsa verde, Seared brussels sprouts petals with meyer lemon and fresh chilies, Apple crostata, and a Boulevardier. I checked the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs on December 15, 1979 were “Take the Long Way Home,” “Heartache Tonight,” “Do That to Me One More Time,” “You’re Only Lonely,” “No More Tears (Enough is Enough),” “Send One Your Love,” “Escape (The Piña Colada Song),” “Please Don’t Go,” “Still,” and “Babe.” I had a forgettable day of work. People have been calling in sick. I went out to have a slice of pizza before I walked over to the theatre that was showing “Spotlight.” The stars were Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams. The story had similarities with “All the President’s Men,” although “Doubt” was another movie that came to mind. It was about the Boston Globe’s investigation of Catholic priests during 2001. I’ve thought that Mark Ruffalo has been a very good actor, from “You Can Count on Me” to “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” to “The Brothers Bloom” to “The Kids Are All Right.” I thought he had a few moments that didn’t seem true, like during his argument to print the story, but most of the time I liked watching him. He had key scenes in reporting, although I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t send someone else to request the documents that were being made public. I felt that a weakness of the movie was that the reporters were pursuing names that didn’t have faces. The film could have been more visually interesting. Rachel, or Sacha, stumbles upon one of the priests, who seemed out of touch with reality. The rationalization of sexual behavior was believable, though, when you think about how people deal with guilt. Michael Keaton’s performance reportedly was highly accurate, and I’ll have to say that he has some impressive momentum going on with his acting, from “Birdman” to this movie. I can’t associate him with Boston, though, as I picture him working with Mr. Rogers in Pittsburgh. I liked the way the movie was focused on the investigation and went into quite a bit of detail. Fourteen years ago seems like a long time ago now, as I saw the reporters going through books with rulers and sitting in the public library. I guess a scene at Fenway Park for a Boston Red Sox game was obligatory. It was a reminder that the years since 2004 have passed too quickly. There was some discussion of the changes in the newspaper business. I don’t know if many investigative reporters like these are out there anymore. It seems that all the notable writers have taken buyouts in recent times. They seem rare in the year before when the presidential election controversy wasn’t covered by the media very well. I got rather tired of seeing lawyers and meetings over the course of this movie. The dramatic event this is all leading up to is the publication of the story, which didn’t seem quite so powerful as the presses were rolling. Things certainly are different as we’re further into the Internet age. We don’t see the results, really, as we learn of what happened after the story was printed through captions. The filmmakers showed how widespread the sex scandal was by indicating the locations of incidents. They showed the names of the cities too quickly because I could recall only Monterey. I’m not sure that this film was truly needed after we’ve seen this story on the news. It wasn’t as powerful as “All the President’s Men.” It felt like it was at about the same level as “Absence of Malice.” However, it’s a movie that’s worth seeing for some people. The audience last night seemed to like it. If you’re in the holiday mood, you wouldn’t want to watch it. Like “Doubt,” I have the feeling that this movie will fade in my memory rather quickly. This movie made me feel tired as I watched it. There is a quality to it that makes it a chore to watch it. Will movies about newspaper reporting ever be made again? I kind of miss those days of “His Girl Friday.” I went to Trader Joe’s, then returned to see Keith Carradine on The Big Bang Theory. It seemed like yesterday that he was playing jackass characters in Robert Altman movies. I saw a Star Trek episode with Captain Pike and aliens with big heads. Spock had changed a lot in appearance and demeanor. He expressed more emotion in his earliest days. The episode was the second part of “The Menagerie,” and it had Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike and Majel Barrett as Number One. I could not bring myself to watch Saturday Night Live. I watched a report about a Seinfeld fan getting birthday greetings from the cast members shortly before his death. Elaine was good enough to send a message. Some of the people who died on December 13 include Donatello (1466), Samuel Johnson (1784), and Grandma Moses (1961). Today is a birthday for Steve Buscemi (58), John Davidson (74), Christopher Plummer (86), and Dick Van Dyke (90). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 13, some people are celebrating birthdays today: Johnny Whitaker (56), Randy Owen (66), Jeff Baxter (67), Ted Nugent (67), Kathy Garver (70), and Christopher Plummer (86).

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